AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Defender Virgil van Dijk, who only returned to Southampton’s starting line-up at the weekend, has been called up to the Netherlands squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said on Monday.
Van Dijk, 26, returns to the national side for the first time this year after injury ruled him out of matches in March and June. A transfer stand off with Southampton saw him miss the start of the new Premier League season and last month’s qualifying matches for Russia.
He came on as a substitute for the south coast side against Crystal Palace last month and made his first start on Saturday in the away defeat at Stoke City.
Van Dijk has 12 caps for the Netherlands, who must beat Belarus away in Borisov on Saturday and Sweden at home next Tuesday to have any chance of reaching the World Cup finals next year.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge